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Is there a way? External HD case!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mmbc_voltron, Jul 29, 2004.

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  1. mmbc_voltron

    mmbc_voltron Thread Starter

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    Is there a way to gut out a case and put all my hard drives in it and use as an external hard storage unit?
    I have all these 20,30,and 40 Gb Hard drives and I want to use them for storage. I know I can network them but that seems like the slow way.
     
  2. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    You could do it with USB or Firewire, but a fast network and a minimum OS would be better. You could, for instance use FreeDos as the OS and probably even run it from a floppy.
     
  3. saikee

    saikee

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    The answer is a big YES!

    When you buy a new enclosure it will have the USB2. The ones with firewire option is slightly more expensive but they are peanuts. Got one last week for £24 and should sell no more than $30 in the states.

    If you really have plenty of them use the mobile rack/caddy system. Screw a mobile rack onto the external enclousre and put all the hard drives into caddies. You can use anyone at any time. Set the drives as master or better still on cable select.

    All but my two 2.5" drives are inside caddies. I use mobile racks on all 6 desktops. With cable select any of my drive can be inserted as an internal master or internal slave or as an external drive. I also use the caddy system for the 2.5" drives but you need an adaptor for it.
     
  4. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Just because I'm curious, do you happen to have a picture of your setup?
     
  5. saikee

    saikee

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    I shall try it later but a mobile rack and caddy system can be had for £5 a set in UK. I have bought 19 recently to change to a new system. It is just a plastic fame fitted into a standard 5.25" bay. Its back has the standard 40-pin and 4-pin connector for the ribbon cable. The caddy is inserted into the frame and joinned with the rack by a parallel port connection. The connection and disconnection should only be made when the machine is switched off if the drive is used as an internal unit. As a USB drive the Windows has an icon at the bottom right corner for giving green light for its removal. USB2 device by default can be hot-plugged into any PC and no driver is needed for XP and Win2k. The removal requires clearance from Windows.

    The mobile rack and caddy is as old as IBM PC. It has a new lease of life because of the advent of USB ports. Fitting it to a external enclosure isn't available commercially yet but I expect it will catch on because there is nothing needed except a few self taping screws. External enclosure is manufactured to replicate a 5.25" bay which a 5.25" mobile rack will fit.

    SATA drives have a slightly different end connection and units for them are also available but dearer as they not yet very popular. IDE & SATA caddies cannot be mixed though.
     
  6. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    I have access to USB2.0 to IDE converter which fits inside the machine. I also have USB Connected internal racks that will take the standard trays.

    I suggested the network solution, a) because of being cheaper, and b) so there was only one cable connection.
     
  7. saikee

    saikee

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    I agree with DaveBurnett that the networked hard drives aren't that much slower in practice. A generic midi tower or a standard desk top has only four 5.25"bays. Although the interior can accept more than 4 hard disks the mobo is unlikely to be able to exceed that limit. Of course having the mobile racks on PCs that network together is even better, especially when you can get a 100Mbps NIC for £4.
     
  8. saikee

    saikee

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    As promised here is the mobile rack web site

    This photo shows the application; one 2.5” hdd open up in a caddy, one 3.5” hdd in caddy with lid opened but resting on another caddy and one mobile rack in a process being screwed to an external enclosure.

    This photo shows one caddy with a 2.5” hdd, one caddy with a 3.5” hdd and a finished enclosure with the mobile rack built in.

    This is the finish product. The mobile rack has a hinged flap.
     
  9. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Thanks for the pics. I'm looking at putting together a system with RAID 0+1 with SATA drives. With a setup like that it would make switching out a dead drive a snap.
     
  10. saikee

    saikee

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    srhoaades

    One of the pictures shows one empty SATA mobile rack. Its top one was a SATA until last week. I am running out of space with the IDE disk at the top after loading 11 Linux systems in it so have to I add another IDE drive in. SATA isn't recognised by all Linux yet.

    Mobile racks are the best because it is cheap and you get the maximum transfer rate. With cable select I need have to look at the jumper setting again.
     
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